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Conglomeration in the Global Digital Economy

📂Super Apps and Conglomeration ‘Super apps’ are on the rise. This study explores the characteristics, origins, and manifestations of these apps worldwide, presenting the concept of ‘super-appification’ to describe processes of conglomeration in the global digital economy. Super apps aim to become deeply integrated into people’s everyday lives, capturing and monetising essential activities. By analysing 41 super apps, we identify four distinct types of ‘super-app constellations’, showcasing different patterns and dynamics of conglomeration: ‘Swiss-Army Knife’ apps that consolidate services in one app, ‘Family’ apps that expand through subsidiaries, and ‘Host’ and ‘Hub’-style apps that leverage external developers. This typology offers a comprehensive understanding of the conglomeration patterns underpinning the rise of super apps, involving corporate, development and international expansion strategies. Ultimately, super-appification represents an intensified form of ‘appification’, as these apps increasingly pervade and commodify various aspects of everyday life, such as payment, insurance, grocery delivery, mobility and travel, with significant sociopolitical implications.

📋 ✍Cite

📋Cite (APA) van der Vlist, F. N., Helmond, A., Dieter, M. J., & Weltevrede, E. J. T. (2024). Super-Appification: Conglomeration in the Global Digital Economy. New Media & Society, 0(0): 1–24. SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.1177/14614448231223419.
🔗Link (DOI)

Kind Journal Article; Original Research Article
Author F. N. van der Vlist; A. Helmond; M. J. Dieter; E. J. T. Weltevrede
Designer F. N. van der Vlist
Publication Date 2024, January 10 [first published online]
Journal New Media & Society (NM&S)
Volume 0
Issue 0
Pages 1–24 (24)
Publisher SAGE Publications (London, United Kingdom)
Identifier 10.1177/14614448231223419 [self]; 1461-4448 [part of]; 1461-7315 [part of]; SPI.2021.001 [funded by]; 262513311 [funded by]; VI.Veni.191C.048 [funded by]
License CC BY-ND 4.0
Data Availability The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in the Open Science Framework (OSF) at


🖇Attached Name 🕓Date Modified ↧ Kind Access
Super-Appification 2023-12-31 📄 🔍Conference Proceeding 🔓Open Access
Global ‘Super-App’ Landscape 2023-06-01 🗄Research Data 🔓Open Access
📌 The Platform as Ecosystem 2022-09-16 🎓 📗 🔍Thesis 🌍Public
The Evolution of Super Apps 2022-07 📝Web Report 🌍Public
📌 API Governance 2022-05-07 📄 🔍Research Article 🔓Open Access
Seeing the Forest for the Trees Diagrams 2021-09 📊Infographics 🔓Open Access
📌 Pandemic Platform Governance 2021-08-06 📄 🔍Research Article 🔓Open Access
The Technicity of Platform Governance 2021-07-23 📄Working Paper 🔓Open Access
Apps and Infrastructures – A Research Agenda 2019-10-21 📄 📗Issue Editorial 🔓Open Access
App Studies (Conference Panel) 2016-10-31 📄 🔍Conference Proceeding 🔓Open Access